Inside sales representatives are skilled professionals who manage sales remotely or at the office. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the job market for inside sales representatives has witnessed a boom recently. So, if you have excellent communication and persuasive skills and feel passionate about selling products and services to customers, either in an office or from your home, via email, cold-calling and lead follow-up calls, this could be your profession.
First, have a look at these three sample resumes:
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Job duties of inside sales representatives
Sometimes, inside sales representatives are mistaken for telemarketers. Although both professions are similar, they are entirely different. On the one hand, inside sales reps generate their own leads. They prepare by putting in the time and researching each of their prospects diligently before ever making a call; on the other hand, telemarketers cold call random numbers from lists, they do not work with rapport and their approach to sales is arbitrary. Telemarketers play the numbers game and purchase lists of phone numbers without any thought behind who will be on the other end of the call.
Let us have a look at these duties that an inside sales representative has to do to close a deal:
Sourcing new prospects and sales leads through inbound referrals, outbound sales calls and thoughtful messages.
Identifying new sales opportunities by researching markets.
Understanding customers’ requirements and presenting your products’ attributes to fit their needs.
Answering the prospect’s queries and sending them all the development-related details via email or message.
Keeping an eye on the updated version of the company’s product or service and the competitors.
Maintaining a database of existing clients and new leads.
Collaborating with other teams to close the deal and contribute to achieving sales goals.
Ensuring safe delivery of product and customer satisfaction through after-sales services.
Inside sales representative median salaries
As mentioned by PayScale.com, the average annual salary of an inside sales representative is $44,804. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, job opportunities for inside sales representatives are growing immensely and wages are projected to increase.
Top skills for inside sales representatives
Inside sales representatives are required to have specific skills to do a job well done. Let's take a look at some of these essential abilities:
- Masters of means of communication: Communication is the backbone of the profile of an inside sales representative. To be successful in this field, you need to be able to communicate in the most detailed way without allowing any chances for information gaps.
Listening ability:Understanding and perceiving the actual needs and requirements of customers is an important skill. To be able to do that, you need to be a patient and composed listener. This is even more crucial when you are working remotely.
Writing prowess:An inside sales representative needs to have excellent writing skills. Written communication is often considered a binding document; hence, choosing the right words and sentences to convince and give confidence to external agencies, companies and clients is essential.
Storytelling technique:Having conversations with customers and demonstrating expert knowledge of a product's features is part of the inside sales representative's duty. This discussion should be accurate, engaging and robust enough to create an image in the client's mind. Only then, a deal can be closed successfully.
- Experts of CRM software: Customer relationship management (CRM) is an integral part of sales planning. CRM helps businesses build a relationship with their customers which, in turn, creates customer loyalty and retention. Through its analytics, it offers insight into customer data which can help you make better choices in terms of the products and services you can distribute to your customers.
- Rapport-building aptitude: Building an excellent rapport needs some special skills,and that can only be achieved when you are well conversant, have exceptional interpersonal skills and know a lot about the products and services offered. It helps if you are extroverted in your dealings with the customers as well.
- Familiarity with digital communication: An inside sales representative is expected to be tech-savvy and familiar with digital advancements in the market. They should be proficient in communication tools such as web conferencing, video conferencing, Slack, Google Chat and telepresence, among others. They should also be very active on social media.
Educational requirements for inside sales representatives
Although there are no prescribed formal education requirements for an inside sales representative, apart from a high school diploma or GED, there are some unsaid rules in the industry regarding academic excellence. Let’s take a look!
DegreeMany employers prefer to hire a candidate with a bachelor's or associate's degree in a specific related industry. You can choose to opt for the area that suits your preference as per your choice and convenience.
You may choose any accredited traditional college of your choice to earn these degrees. To list down a few, the candidate can choose between Princeton University, Yale University or North Michigan University.
Universities and colleges: Apart from traditional degrees, some universities and colleges have short-term certification programs in different technical and nontechnical skills. You can choose these programs for expertise in various aspects of the sales field, such as a Certificate in Sales by the University of Washington and a Sales Professional Certificate by Cleveland State University. Also, Berkeley University and Purdue University have many short-term, online and offline communication skills study programs.
Member associations: The American Marketing Association offers some professional certificates in marketing. In these programs, you can go for a Sales Management certificate to boost your skills. Apart from this, you can choose an SMEI and NASP certification too. You can also earn a certificate from the American Association of Inside Sales Representatives.
For-profit educational companies: Skillsoft and LinkedIn Learning Companies offer several courses in sales. These certificate programs are designed from primary level knowledge to expertise.
CertificationsAs a skill-based job, you must have essential certifications to sharpen necessary skills. You can also obtain sales training, such as the SPIN Selling Conversions course that focuses on helping sales and service organizations conduct useful meetings that lead to growth, better management and increased customer retention.
Also, a Microsoft Certification, a HubspotCRM Certificate or an SQL Certificate for database management by Oracle are all essential certifications you can add to further advance your career.
Inside sales representative resume-writing tips
Writing a great resume is equally important compared to other preparations for a job such as education, certifications or skill assimilation. This is your letter of presentation to the employer which is why it needs to be specific and organized. Let’s take a look at the following tips.
- Keep it precise and complete: Although a resume is an upshot of the whole personality of a candidate, it should not be very lengthy or have irrelevant information. At the same time, it should be complete enough to create your image for the recruiter. Therefore, use your creativity, research the company and include keywords and quantifiable metrics.
- Dive on your specific skills: A job like an inside sales representative needs efficiency in a handful of technical and soft skills. It would be best if you appropriately wrote these qualifications.
- Write soft skills and technical skills, customer service and sales goals. Don’t forget about including your certifications in different columns.
- Use bulleted points.
- If it is for an entry position, write small details of your hard-earned technical skills through college, internships, voluntary work or even high school.
- Grab attention with the right template: The format layout is also essential. It is how your resume will look. You will see various designs, but remember to choose the best for the profession or job position. For an inside sales representative, try a modern, professional or basic resume template. It can do the trick and will grab instant attention from your recruiter.
Do inside sales representatives need to do fieldwork as well?
Generally, inside sales representatives do their work remotely. However, in certain situations like handling specific queries to many customer representatives or in the absence of outside sales representatives, an inside sales manager may have to visit the customers as well. It all depends on the situation and the needs and demands of customers. However, an inside sales representative’s job is primarily an in-house position with field visits limited to the bare minimum.
Do inside sales representatives also get sales targets?
The prime objective of a sales professional is to maximize order intakes to optimize the company's turnover. To achieve this objective, every sales professional has a sales target either individually or as a group. Similarly, inside sales representatives in most companies also have sales targets and earn reasonable incentives to achieve the same.
What is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the prospects of inside sales representatives?
With the travel restrictions imposed during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and with companies curtailing the number of external visitors, the demand for inside sales representatives is suddenly extensively on the rise. Companies are converting many sales associates into inside sales representatives as well. Therefore, it could be said that inside sales representatives will shape the future face of the sales industry.